Carpe Jugulum

| ,

Bizarre, Hilarious, Wonderful

A friend and I have a habit of sharing favorite books. He'll read something he loves and then send it to me; or I'll find something great and send it to him; or sometimes we'll both want to read the same thing and whoever finishes first will throw their copy in the mail. It's really wonderful.

The other day, he sent me a copy of Carpe Jugulum, one of the books in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. As soon as I pulled the book out of the box, I knew my friend really, really loved it: its purple-and-orange cover was dog-eared and beaten up like he'd read it over and over again. And as soon as I started reading the book myself, I understood why.

Carpe Jugulum is about a family of pioneering and forward-thinking vampires'"vampyrs"'who have managed to overcome all the weapons used to kill them through the power of the mind (i.e., something to the effect of: "This is a piece of wire twisted into the shape of a cross; therefore it will not kill me.") The Count, the head of the family, is convinced that their vulnerability to such things as lemons are all in their brains; so he has been exposing his family to garlic, sunlight, and holy symbols in the hope that it will make them immune. To his delight, all of his proactivity has worked; and now they are ready to expand their kingdom. But their invasion into another king's realm -' forward-thinking as it may be -' is not without obstacles. Arrayed against them are three witches and several other interesting characters: a falconer, a priest, and an army of tiny blue men among them. These do-gooders go through an arsenal of lemons and holy symbols before they... Well, I would not want to spoil the entire story for you.

Pratchett tells this story of archetypes-turned-on-their-heads with an amazing sense of humor. He makes fun of anything, finds the humor in everything. This was the first Pratchett book I read, and his style took a little getting used to at first; but once I did I could not stop laughing.

I loved reading this book. I might have to head up to Boston'to visit my friend, yes, but mainly to raid his bookcase. I can't wait to read more of Pratchett's amazing stories.

Comment on Disqus

Comment on Facebook

Updated Aug 12, 2017 1:45 PM EDT | More details


©2017 AND Magazine, LLC
5 Columbus Circle, 8th Floor
New York, New York 10019 USA

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without express written permission from AND Magazine corporate offices. All rights reserved.